10 Best Exterior Paints of 2021 Compared & Reviewed

Best Exterior Paint
Photo: Kilz

Choosing the right exterior paint for different home structures is not an easy task because you need to account for factors such as weather conditions, expansion and contraction, dust, mold, rust, and many more.

Latex-based paints are the most ideal for exterior painting projects. They dry quickly and are good at resisting harsh conditions.

There is a vast selection of colors and finishes you can choose for exterior paint, depending on your personal preferences.

Dive into our exterior paints review and discover the top paints you can choose from for your home projects.

What To Check Before Buying Exterior Paint?

How to Buy the Best Exterior Paint
Photo: hookedonhouses.net

1. Surface Suitability

Different paints are designed to adhere to varying types of surfaces and in fact, it is always advisable to purchase paint that is optimized for the surfaces you will be painting.

Exterior surfaces are diverse, especially in material and texture. They can be wooden, concrete, masonry, plaster, and even metal. These are the most common surfaces, especially in our homesteads.

Most of the paints we reviewed will work well on all these surfaces. Some like metals may require a primer application prior to painting. Primers prepare surfaces for the final paint coat.

2. Colors and Finish

Paints also come in different colors and finishes. Although white is considered a popular exterior color, there are hundreds more you can choose from.

In most homes, a shade of red has always been the top color choice for barn exteriors. We saw gray and silver colors going well with patios and decks, which also demand a textured, non-slip finish.

We can’t fail to recognize Rust-Oleum 1990502, which offers 18 color choices you can choose from. These robust options make it a great indoor paint as well.

3. Volume and Coverage

Volume and coverage are other important considerations to make when choosing exterior paint. You need the right quantity to cover all the surfaces you will be painting.

For extensive projects that have large coverage areas exceeding 500 square feet, for instance, you can consider getting Kilz 13000. It is a 5-gallon paint that will cover vast surfaces.

Be keen on the paints offered in pints. If you suspect the area to be covered is considerably large, you may need to get several cans.

4. Exterior Paint Components

The components used to make exterior paint do count especially if there are chemicals involved, which is the case in most brands.

Most of the exterior paints in production are latex-based or utilize a water/oil-based formula. Such paints are designed to be safe for areas with human occupation.

Also, components count when you need special-purpose paint such as the Rust-Oleum 3104 for mold and mildew resistance. This paint comes with mildewcide.

5. Is it Easy to Apply?

Ease of paint application is a top priority for many homeowners, especially those who prefer to do DIY painting projects.

Most of the paints we have reviewed are simple and easy to apply. They offer multiple application options including rolling, brushing, and spraying.

Check to see the recommended application tools for your paint. Also, some paints are light and may require more than one coat for even and consistent finishes.

6. Weather Resistance

Because you will be using your paint on exterior surfaces, mostly, weather-resistance should be a top property of the pain you choose.

Structures such as barn walls, fences, gates, decks, patios, and porches come into constant contact with weather phenomena such a rain, sunlight, snow, and many more.

If your paint is resistant to such conditions, it will remain intact and won’t fade, blister, or crack for a long time.

10 Best Exterior Paints of 2021 Reviewed




Kilz 10211

1. Kilz 10211 (Best Overall)

  • Peel, crack, and blister-resistant
  • Superior adhesion capacity
  • Ideal for vertical exterior surfaces
  • Large 500-square-foot coverage
Rust-Oleum 2004

2. Rust-Oleum 2004 (Best Budget)

  • Pocket-friendly pricing
  • Reliable rust resistance
  • Doesn’t require surface sanding
  • Peel, blister, and mildew-resistant
Kilz 13000

3. Kilz 13000 (Best for Largescale Projects)

  • Large 5-gallon capacity
  • Hides mild stains effectively
  • Effective multi-surface adherence
  • Low odor and easy to clean
Kilz L573711

4. Kilz L573711 (Best for Porches & Patios)

  • Durable low-luster finish
  • Withstands harsh weather
  • Crack, fade, and peal-resistant
  • Ideal for wood/concrete surfaces
Rust-Oleum 1990502

5. Rust-Oleum 1990502 (Fast-drying Indoor & Outdoor Paint)

  • Fast 30-minute drying speed
  • Multi-surface indoor/outdoor paint
  • Surface imperfections reduction
  • 18 robust color choices
Kilz 20941

6. Kilz 20941 (Versatile Multi-surface Primer)

  • Versatile multi-surface primer
  • Blocks and conceals stains
  • Fast 30-minute drying speed
  • Decent 400-square-foot coverage
Diamond Brite Paint 31000

7. Diamond Brite Paint 31000 (All-purpose Oil Paint)

  • All-purpose exterior/interior paint
  • Reliable multi-surface paint
  • Crack, peel, and fade-resistant
  • 12 robust colors option
RTG RTG-2597-K

8. RTG RTG-2597-K (Anti-slip)

  • Excellent anti-slip capability
  • Withstands heavy traffic stress
  • Fade-resistant UV formula
  • Low-odor and ecofriendly
Valspar 3121-70

9. Valspar 3121-70 (Exterior Barn & Fence Paint)

  • Ideal barn and fence paint
  • Smooth flow during application
  • Short drying time
  • Decent 400-square-foot coverage
Rust-Oleum 3104

10. Rust-Oleum 3104 (Mold & Mildew-resistant)

  • Superior mold and mildew resistance
  • Peel, fade, and blister-resistant
  • Self-priming paint
  • Easy hassle-free cleaning

1. Kilz 10211 – Best Overall

Kilz 10211

Photo: Kilz

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 200-500
  • Finish: Matte
  • Number of Colors: 2
  • Volume: 1 gallon

Starting us off is a premium exterior paint that has demonstrated resilience in resisting peeling, cracking, and blustering. We’re talking about the Kilz 10211, our best overall exterior paint.

This paint is based on a high-performance water/oil formula, which offers exceptional protection and coverage against different weather and environmental elements. We were especially impressed by its superior adhesion capability even in harsh hot and cold weather.

You can use this versatile paint on sanded glossy surfaces, vertical exterior wood, masonry surfaces, and many more. On non-porous surfaces, this gallon of paint will cover a wide area of 500 square feet.

The paint is designed to beautify your siding fence and barn walls with its white matte finish. We especially recommend it for vertical exterior surfaces because of its adhesive capacity.

We noted, however, that the paint takes about 2-3 hours to dry completely, a duration some may find a bit long especially if you have a busy compound.


  • Protects against peeling and cracking
  • Superior adhesion capacity
  • Especially great for vertical surfaces
  • Wide coverage


  • Long drying time

2. Rust-Oleum 2004 – Best Budget Exterior Primer

Rust-Oleum 2004

Photo: Rust-Oleum

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 400
  • Finish: Satin
  • Number of Colors: 1
  • Volume: 0.25 gallons

Rust-Oleum 2004, our best budget exterior primer, has earned its place on our list for its superior rust-resistance capacity.

This low-cost primer is especially ideal for painting new metal surfaces to prevent them from rusting while providing an attractive white finish, which can be tinted in different shades.

A key quality of this primer you’ll likely appreciate is that it adheres to multiple surfaces without the need for sanding, which is a necessity for most of the other paints in the market.

Even without sanding, the primer seals uniformly blocks stains, and dries impressively fast, in about 1 hour. Also, a topcoat is not necessary with this primer. Simply apply it, allow drying, and you’re good to go.

Because this is a water-based primer, it will resist mildew growth, peeling, and blistering. In fact, it works great on high-pH surfaces, such as newly-constructed concrete.

Our only issue with Rust-Oleum 2004 is its low 0.25-gallon capacity, which may not be sufficient for extensive projects.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Prevents rusting on metals
  • Doesn’t require surface preparation
  • Resists peeling, blistering, and mildew


  • The capacity could higher

3. Kilz 13000 – Best for Largescale Projects

Kilz 13000

Photo: Kilz

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 300-400
  • Finish: Mildew-resistant
  • Number of Colors: 1
  • Volume: 5 gallons

If you plan to undertake expansive painting projects, Kilz 13000 exterior paint is up to the task because of its high capacity and reliable performance in exterior applications.

This 5-gallon paint will cover surfaces of up to 400 square feet per gallon. You can use it on the barn wall, fences, concrete surfaces, and many others, and still have some left for new coats or future projects.

It utilizes a water-based formula, which noted is great at sealing multiple surfaces to achieve uniform finishes. You’ll notice the paint’s reliability in hiding stains and previous colors.

The paint adheres well to most exterior and even interior surfaces, including drywall, woodwork, plaster, paneling, brick, masonry, and paneling.

We also recognize the paint for its low odor and ease of cleaning, using only soap and water. The paint is great for occupied home spaces.

Because this 5-gallon Kilz 13000 is pricey, you may opt for a lower-capacity alternative if you need to paint for smaller projects.


  • Large capacity and coverage
  • Effective stain concealer
  • Adheres well to multiple surfaces
  • Easy to clean


  • Pricey

4. Kilz L573711 – Best for Porches and Patios

Kilz L573711

Photo: Kilz

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 200-400
  • Finish: Low-luster
  • Number of Colors: 2
  • Volume: 1 gallon

Well-painted porches and patios can transform the look of your house. Kilz L573711 is the paint we recommend for beautifying these sections of your home.

We liked this paint for is high durability and ease of cleaning. On durability, the acrylic paint creates a low-luster enamel features that are designed to endure all the stresses that decks, patios, and porches are constantly subjected to by harsh weather.

This pain has proven resilient in resisting scuffing, peeling, cracking, and fading in different atmospheric and human conditions. It will resist mildew just as effectively.

You will see the true performance and glow of this paint when you apply it on previously primed or painted surfaces, both wooden and masonry.

While the silver/gray color options of Kilz L573711 are designed to suit patio and deck applications, we did notice that the silver/gray is not as dark as many would prefer, an issue you can rectify by applying an additional coat.


  • Durable low-luster finish
  • Endures harsh weather conditions
  • Resistant to scuffing and cracking
  • Works on wood and masonry surfaces


  • The silver/gray color could be darker

5. Rust-Oleum 1990502 – Fast-drying Indoor and Outdoor

Rust-Oleum 1990502

Photo: Rust-Oleum

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 360
  • Finish: Flat
  • Number of Colors: 18
  • Volume: 0.25 gallons

Nobody wants to spend hours waiting for paint to dry, especially if you intend to apply a second or third coat. Rust-Oleum 1990502 indoor/outdoor paint cuts the waiting time down to just 30 minutes.

This paint supports quick project completion because it has a record drying speed of 30 minutes only. You can apply it and within a very short time, resume utilizing the freshly-painted surfaces.

You can use this premium latex paint on a wide range of interior and exterior projects, including painting on wood, metal, unglazed ceramic, plaster, and masonry. Also, we liked that this water-based formula is low-odor and chip-resistant.

Its flat finish help minimize surface imperfections so that you can achieve a consistently smooth appearance that will even conceal existing faint stains.

Another thing to love about this paint is its vast range of color choices. You have 18 colors to choose from, offering you the variety you need for all your home projects.

We didn’t like the fact that the fast-drying Rust-Oleum 1990502 comes in a 1-quart can, which may be insufficient for extensive projects. These may require several cans.


  • Record drying speed
  • Supports multiple surfaces
  • Minimizes surface imperfections
  • Plenty of color choices


  • The capacity and coverage could be higher

6. Kilz 20941 – Versatile Multi-surface Exterior Primer

Kilz 20941

Photo: Kilz

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 300-400
  • Finish: Flat
  • Number of Colors: 1
  • Volume: 1 gallon

While the most primer is designed to adhere well to at least one surfaces, Kilz 20941 takes it a notch higher by supporting almost all surfaces you’ll ever need to paint in your home.

This primer is designed to make paint colors appear truer because of its robustness in supporting multiple surfaces. It adheres excellently to interior/exterior surfaces such as brick, properly-glossed surfaces, paneling, drywall, plaster, wood, metal, and masonry.

The primer will block out stains on both exterior and interior surfaces that have been painted white. You’ll only need to mix the paint well before applying it using a roller, sprayer or brush.

It dries incredibly fast, in only 30 minutes, and will be ready for recoating in about 1 hour. Also, we like its decent coverage of op to 400 square feet per gallon.

The only major inconvenience about Kilz 20941 is that the primer requires thorough surface preparation for it to work effectively. You need to remove dust, chalk, mold, rust, or peeling paint from the surface you’ll be applying. This process may take time and effort.


  • Works on many surfaces
  • Effective stain blocker and concealer
  • Dries fast and uniformly
  • Decent coverage area


  • Requires thorough surface preparation

7. Diamond Brite Paint 31000 – All-purpose Exterior Oil Paint

Diamond Brite Paint 31000

Photo: Diamond Brite Paint

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 300
  • Finish: Alkyd
  • Number of Colors: 12
  • Volume: 1 gallon

Sometimes we just need the ideal paint that is applicable to both interior and exterior surfaces with similar outcomes and performance. Diamond Brite Paint 31000 is a high-performance paint that will do exactly that.

This tough and durable paint is great on concrete, plaster, masonry, wood, metal, and hardwood on both exterior and interior surfaces.

We like the performance of this paint especially in resisting cracking, peeling, fading, and scuffing. That’s why it works excellently on basement and garage wall surfaces, and even outdoor structure such as railings and patios.

Another reason we liked this all-purpose paint for indoor and outdoor projects is its wide selection of color options. You can choose one or more of the 12 colors available for flexibility and customization, especially for interior paint projects.

What some may find slightly inconveniencing about Diamond Brite Paint 31000 is its unusually long cure time. It may take a day before the painted surface is dry enough for normal contact.


  • Good exterior and interior performance
  • Works well on multiple surfaces
  • Resists cracking, peeling and fading
  • Many colors option


  • Long cure time

8. RTG RTG-2597-K – Best Anti-slip

RTG RTG-2597-K

Photo: RTG

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): 300-400
  • Finish: Textured light sheen
  • Number of Colors: 4
  • Volume: 0.25

Because of its exceptional traction capacity, RTG RTG-2597-K is our choice for leading exterior anti-slip paint. You will realize the true value of this paint when you apply it on your deck, patio or porch.

It is a fast-drying paint that yields a textured light sheen finish, which provides secure footing, especially on exterior surfaces, which frequently get wet and potentially slippery. Such surfaces include stairs, ramps, porches, and patios.

The durable coating achieved by the paint is able to resist the stress caused by heavy foot traffic and harsh weather conditions. Also, a special UV-formula used in this paint makes it fade-resistant.

We liked the fact that the water-based paint is eco-friendly, low-VOC, and low-odor. No priming is necessary on the surfaces you’ll paint on. Simply prepare them well and apply the paint.

Because the RTG RTG-2597-K comes in a low 0.25-gallon capacity, you will need more than one can for many of the home applications you’ll use it on.


  • Excellent traction capacity
  • Resists abrasion from heavy traffic
  • Fade-resistant
  • Eco-friendly and low-odor


  • Low capacity and coverage

9. Valspar 3121-70 – Exterior Barn and Fence Paint

Valspar 3121-70

Photo: Valspar

  • Coverage (sq. ft./gal.): Up to 400
  • Number of Colors: 2
  • Volume: 1 gallon

Valspar 3121-70 was formulated to provide the durability and resilience necessary for barn and fence paints to withstand everyday stresses, especially from weather conditions.

This paint is not just ideal for transforming your barn and fence, but it performs well on most exterior surfaces including masonry, weathered steel, aluminum sidings, wood, and even primed metal.

During application, the paint flows very smoothly and then rapidly dries to form a tough and durable finish that is both fade and weather-resistant.

You also get 2 color choices: red and white. Red is a favorite for exterior barn walls while the white looks really nice on wooden fences especially.

The 1-gallon capacity of this pain will cover an extensive area of 400 square feet especially if you’re doing a fence painting project.

It’s worth noting, however, that because Valspar 3121-70 is a thin paint, you may need to apply 2 or more coats on some surfaces for an even white or red finish.


  • Optimized for barns and fences
  • Smooth flow during application
  • Dries very fast
  • Large coverage


  • May require several coats

10. Rust-Oleum 3104 – Mold and Mildew-resistant

Rust-Oleum 3104

Photo: Rust-Oleum

  • Finish: Satin
  • Number of Colors: 25
  • Volume: 0.25 gallons

Rust-Oleum 3104 is unique exterior paint specially formulated to resist the formation of mold and mildew on the paint film applied.

It contains a mildewcide, which helps in the prevention of mildew and mold growth on the film you will apply to different exterior surfaces. The film has impressive moisture and dust resistance capacity.

Besides mildew, this paint is effective in resisting fading, peeling, and blistering. This resistance has been guaranteed for 15 years.

Also, a self-priming formula has been included in the pain so that you don’t have to undertake extensive surface preparation like sanding. Simply apply the paint and allow it to dry.

As for cleaning, the paint simplifies this process and only requires you to use soap and water. No brushing or scrubbing is required especially because the paint is already dirt resistant.

If you intend to use the Rust-Oleum 3104 to prevent mold, then it’s likely you will be covering a considerable area and a single 0.25-gallon pint may not be enough. You may need more than one.


  • Effective mold and mildew prevention
  • Resist fading, blistering and peeling
  • Self-priming
  • Easy to clean


  • Low coverage capacity


Our exterior paint review highlighted the top brands and their key benefits in beautifying your home exteriors while withstanding the harshness of weather and human elements.

If you want the best exterior paint for your home, pick Kilz 10211, which is our best overall. It has decent coverage, offers superior weather resistance, and adheres excellently to different surfaces.

For those on a budget, Rust-Oleum 2004 is a low-cost exterior primer that has effective stain-blocking capabilities.

Finally, if you plan to undertake extensive painting projects in your home,  the 5-gallon Kilz 13000 will get the job done.